The following article written by David Krueger, MD, CEO of MentorPath®, sets the stage for the coaching relationship, helping clients to make changes that stick, and creating your New Wellness Story®.
How We [Co]Facilitate Change: 12 Principles
1. Each person’s life story is created.
You create whatever you think, feel, and experience at each moment. Every day is a blank page until you begin writing on it – even though it seems to be “just the way things are.” The first step is taking ownership of your story, including the assumptions that generate default behavior.
2. Understanding begins with examining which storylines work and which do not.
The next step is changing the ones that do not work, while keeping or even enhancing those that do work.
3. Knowing what not to do is at least as important as knowing what to do.
You may not always know what the next right thing is, but you can almost always know what isn’t.
4. Questions are more powerful than advice.
Questions can direct, clarify, illuminate, and even story-bust. Advice invites acquiescence or resistance; questions move the process from compliance to collaboration.
5. When people create their own answers, they have signed on to invest in the outcome.
This investment elicits a sense of effectiveness and mastery.
6. Identify four things: What to change, accept, let go, and enhance.
Doing this allows you to put your energy into what works, and allows you to accept and let go of what you can’t change. Making this simple distinction both liberates and enhances effectiveness.
7. We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
Learn to recognize your own assumptions and beliefs, and how they color what you perceive. Assumptions manifest as feelings and behaviors. By making assumptions explicit, you become able to perceive those that facilitate and those that interfere.
8. Change is constant and inevitable; resistance to change is what generates most problems.
We are most successful when we learn from yesterday, anticipate tomorrow, and integrate the impact of new experience.
9. Small changes lead to big changes.
Issues that seem overwhelmingly large and insurmountable can be approached by looking at the simplicity of the issue, specifying a small step to take for progress. For example, someone who feels overwhelmed at work by the number of tasks expected of him can identify one issue to deal with effectively within the next day. This focus on a specific action exercises effectiveness and initiates a model of mastery.
10. Solutions, causes, and problems are not always related or even interconnected.
Resolving a problem, even emotionally coming to the end of the past, does not create a blueprint for success. Strategic planning for specific goals is necessary. For the person with an eating disorder, there are no prepackaged answers awaiting discovery. She is moving into new developmental territory without a map.
11. A collaboration keeps both individuals on the same side, looking at the same scene together.
Empathic listening keeps the professional aligned with the client’s point of view and builds common ground for work.
12. The benefit of doing more of what is working and less of what isn’t working will become evident and self-perpetuating.